The weather forecast for Sunday looked horrid, but then again, so did Saturday's, and Saturday was beautiful. So not wanting to throw in the towel, Monica, Bethany and I looked at our options for 13ers. We could punt and go do Notch Mtn and maybe Pt 13,248, so we could bail if the weather got really bad, or go for something more interesting like Fancy Peak. Morning would tell what weather we would get, so off to bed we went!
In the morning I checked the radar, and the skies were not completely occluded, so we got ready and drove to the trailhead, about 18 miles away from our campsite. Not an early start, but no need to start in the dark today!
The trailhead is well marked and even has an outhouse. The trail starts off with some gentle switchbacks in the forrest that make it easy to forget that you are actually going uphill! The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Though we did start to wonder when it would start climbing up to the pass.
Icy stream crossing
As we got higher up, we started to get a view of the ridge lines around us, and the clouds looked ominous at times. We wondered when it would start raining/snowing on us. When we reached the lake, we took a short break for the views and for some food. The sun was teasing us at this point, we didn't think we could trust that it would stay.
Hmmm will is snow/rain on us?
I see blue sky!
Hiking up the trail
Looking back at Homestake Peak
Approaching Fancy Lake
After the break, we back tracked a little down the trail, to find the merge with the trail from Holy Cross City up to the pass. Here is where the trail went from nice forrest soil, to rocky. It was like being spoiled all morning!
Looking down on Fancy Lake, as the sun starts to make more of an appearance
Hiking up to Fancy Pass
A look back down the drainage
Bethany finds some Muscovite Mica, her favorite
When we got to the pass, we were treated to a view of the lesser hiked 12ers and 13ers in the Holy Cross Wilderness area. Quite a sight! From the pass we spotted a trail that switchbacked up the slope to the ridge on Fancy Peak, so we decided to take that, instead of the rocky ridge proper.
Monica finds a view worth a photo or two
Pano from Fancy Pass
The ridge up to Fancy Peak
Looking back as a 12er near the pass
Hiking up to the ridge
Once up on the ridge, it was a short jaunt over to the summit. We even got some sun on the summit to warm ourselves with. Got some nice beta shots of the nearby 13ers for future use.
Where we gained the ridge, looking back
The last little jaunt up to the summit, along the ridge
Pt 13,768 and Whitney Peak
Savage Peak with a coat of white
Summit Pano S-N
3 Fancy Ladies!
Some pointy 12ers in HCW
Mt Massive and Elbert
Once we were done with the summit, the return trip went very quickly. The switchbacks were over before they began. At the trailhead some other groups were talking about a loop with Missouri Lakes trail (trailhead was a short distance away). Too bad I didn't know about that earlier, that could have been a nice loop!
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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